OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
The campaign of Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has spent a small fortune on private security since December, though she has been a vocal advocate of defunding local police departments, which critics say puts people at risk of violent crime.
“A Fox News Digital review found that the Abrams campaign doled out over $400,000 between July and August of this year alone for private security,” the outlet reported Monday. “These payments follow an exclusive report from July that found the Abrams campaign paid out over $800,000 to Executive Protection Agencies, LLC, an Atlanta-based private security firm, between December 2021 and June of this year.”
The outlet noted further that the exorbitant price tag of more than $1.2 million is remarkable given that Abrams has frequently supported the ‘defund police’ movement as well as closing privatized prisons in her state. During the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in May 2020, Abrams attempted several times to rebrand the “defund” aspect as being an effort at the “reformation and transformation” of policing rather than outright abolishment of local departments.
“We have to reallocate resources, so, yes,” she said in June 2020 when asked if police budgets should be reduced. “If there is a moment where resources are so tight that we have to choose between whether we murder Black people or serve Black people, then absolutely: Our choice must be service.”
Abrams, during her campaign, has repeatedly claimed she doesn’t support defunding police. However, as Fox News Digital notes, she has been involved with a number of left-wing organizations that do.
On Sunday, Abrams was put on the defensive during an appearance on Fox News with anchor Shannon Bream regarding questions about a lawsuit involving Abrams, and a group she is aligned with that challenged voter integrity laws in the state after a federal judge ruled against her.
“You are a successful author and attorney. You’ve said that words are very careful. You choose them carefully. They’re important. You’ve used the words rigged and stolen about the 2018 gubernatorial election. You said it was proper because you can back it up. But a federal judge has now said the voter protocols that you challenged in Georgia, by his estimation, didn’t violate the Constitution or the Voting Rights Act,” said Bream
“New York Times adds this: ‘The judge who was nominated by President Barack Obama added that verified action did not provide direct evidence of a voter who was unable to vote, experienced longer wait times, was confused about voter registration status’” Do you take issue with Judge Jones’ findings in this case?” Bream asked.
“I take issue with the characterization that you’ve read. What the judge said in the 288-page decision was that repeatedly under the Greenville Standard, Georgia violated Section two of the Voting Rights Act. Under the Brnovich standard, which existed as of 2021. The Greenville existed in 2020.
“And when we filed the lawsuit Brnovich, which was the weakening of the Voting Rights Act that happened out of Arizona in 2021. And under the new standard, he did not have the authority to find that we proved our case under violations of Section two. But he said that it was a racially discriminatory system. He spent copious amounts of time explaining how Brian Kemp oversaw a racist system that disproportionately affected Brown voters,” she said.
“He said that while he was deeply concerned about what happened, he could not, under the Brnovich categorization, actually hold him accountable. That is very different than saying nothing happened and what we were able to prove and what took four months. What was the longest, the longest trial on a voting rights case in Georgia in decades. What the court said is that he was not able to find that we could meet the standard under the new weakened Voting Rights Act.
“In Georgia — the last gubernatorial primary versus now — there’s a net increase of 763,380 voters. That sounds like the opposite of voter suppression?”
STACEY ABRAMS: Oh actually that’s not what I meant pic.twitter.com/WlD7DUlrCq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 9, 2022
“And that’s the reason that I’m pushing so hard for the Voting Rights Act to be restored and expanded. But it’s also why I’m running for governor. We need a governor who actually cannot be credibly accused of having overseen a racist system. And Brian Kemp, according to Judge Jones, oversaw and helped architect a racist voter suppression system in the state of Georgia,” the candidate said.
“Well, I’ve read the opinion as well, and I would say the characterization is a bit different. But he does ultimately, Judge Jones say no violation of Voting Rights Act. And you mentioned there are different standards in case law that’s evolved through the Supreme Court on that front. But the direct quote from his ruling says, ‘No evidence that a voter couldn’t vote, experienced wait times or confused about voter registration status.’
“And I know the issue here for you is voter suppression. So let’s look at the numbers. In Georgia, the last gubernatorial primary versus now, there was a net increase of 763,380 voters. That sounds like the opposite of voter suppression,” the host said.